Locals call The Olde English Pub, The Quackenbush House. The exact year of the home’s construction is estimated to be 1736 and is named for the Dutch family who called Albany home for over 200 years. The front half of the building facing Broadway is considered the oldest, while the back half of the home dates to the late 18th century. The front boasts classic Dutch brick patterns and building techniques that give our Pub its charm today.
The first occupants of The Quackenbush House was Pieter Quackenbush. Pieter arrived with his family in the mid to late 1600s in what was then known as Fort Orange. Fort Orange was a growing fur trading community, a true frontier town where the Dutch were forming friendly relationships with the Mahican Native Americans, in order to further the booming fur trade. Fort Orange was in need of skilled laborers and savvy businessmen. Pieter purchased a brickyard in 1668 on the land where Quackenbush stands today. In Pieter’s day, the Hudson River was almost in the home’s backyard. The home was built just outside the safety of the stockade walls, but it made strategic business sense. The river provided rich clay, which was ideal for brick making. It is possible that some of the bricks this home was constructed with came from the Quackenbush brickyard.
The most Prominent member of the family was Hendrick (Henry) Quackenbush, a colonel in the Revolutionary Army. After the victory at the Battle of Saratoga in 1777 Colonel Quackenbush was charged with escorting captured British General Burgoyne. When Burgoyne was turned over to General Schuyler, the troops camped out in front of Hendrick’s home. His daughter Anna provided the troops with refreshments.
Descendants of the Quackenbush family lived in the home until 1864. Since then, the home has been a bakery, and antique store, a boarding house, drug store, lithographer, furniture store and tavern. By the mid-70s, New York State purchased the home with plans to demolish, making way for the highway ramp. Thankfully, a team of concerned citizens recognized the historical significance and convinced the City of Albany to save it.
The Quackenbush House became the anchor for Quackenbush Square. The area surrounding the home became a pedestrian walkway and the 1870s water pump station next door was restored for commercial use. Today, it is home to the Albany Visiting Center and the Albany Pump Station. The final piece to the square was the restoration of the Quackenbush house into what is now The Olde English Pub.
The owner leased the building in 2010 to the pub owners (Graydon, Vann and Baumgartner) when Mark Graydon was homesick for the neighborhood pubs in his homeland of England. While great pride was taken in the preservation of the historic integrity of the Quackenbush home, they mde sure to add personal touches throughout the building including family photos and keepsakes. The garden, with its beautiful wisteria trees and flowers, is a hidden treasure of downtown Albany. In 2021, while temporarily shut for the winter during the pandemic, the owners used that time to complete repairs and updates as they eagerly awaited the re-opening in the spring.
“The little house with beer in it.”
At The Olde English, we serve an eclectic English menu focusing on classic pub fare and English staples like Fish & Chips, while incorporating the cultural influences of India and the Caribbean to name just a few. Our seasonal menu uses fresh, scratch items and changes with the weather, so be sure to check them out regularly.
British beers (plus Guinness & rotating domestic beers), single malt scotches, wine, and hand-crafted cocktails and mocktails complement our lunch, dinner and brunch menus. All of which can be enjoyed fireside in one of our cozy dining rooms, on the front patio along Broadway, or in our lovely English garden in the rear of the property.
We offer on- and off-site catering for weddings, birthdays, holidays, and more. Head to our catering page for more information.